WEDNESDAY (3/10/21)

I, Mike Houghtaling, am writing the devotional thought today. My wife
Amy and I lead the Beacon Home Group which does not, as the name
implies, meet at the Beacon but rather at our house in Marquette Park. I
work as the spiritual life director at Hope Ministries. I am originally from
Ohio and during my high school years Shawn and Susan Titus were my
youth group leaders.

God’s people experience difficulties on a regular basis. If God is powerful
and good, why do you think bad things happen?

Our passages today are Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43. Please read
them before going any further.

Let’s be honest, Jesus’ explanation of his parable can be downright
frightening. But think about it from the perspective of someone who is
a victim of the evil deeds of another person(s). For a victim this is good
news because we learn that God has a plan to deal with evil. And for evildoers, this is not only a warning and an invitation to turn from evil and
turn to God. (Who ever has ears, let them hear.) But that’s not where I
want to camp out on today.

If Jesus attributes this evil to the devil and NOT God, why are we some of
us so quick to assume that God is behind evil things that happen?

I know that the Bible is a big book and we cannot begin to answer all
our questions about why bad things happen. The Bible says that God
controls the universe. But the Bible also says that humans have free
choices. And, in this passage we read today, Jesus attributes evil to the
devil. Let’s be careful in pointing the finger at God. Let’s be careful in
telling ourselves or others that ‘everything happens for a reason’ as if
all evil is part of God’s purposes. Instead, can we follow the example
of Jesus here and attribute evil things to the devil and to the people
who belong to ‘the evil one’? If we allow ourselves to get frustrated by
‘weeds’, or if we shake our fists at God over their presence in our lives,
we probably need to allow Jesus to speak to us through this parable.